Graysen Cooper

The year was 1941; it was a warm summer day in the Bronx…

I waited until all my boys were inside the building, and then I turned to look at Graysen. “First of all, Mr. Cooper, I want to thank you for coming to Frankie’s rescue. I don’t know what would have happened to my son if you hadn’t come to his aid when you did. I appreciate that very much.” I noticed him step closer to me, and I backed up a few steps to see him grinning again.

I turned my head to the side and then licked my dry lips. “Second of all, I don’t appreciate you encouraging my son to lie to his father. He must be punished for disobeying him.”

He stepped closer to me once again, but this time he put his hand out and grabbed onto my wrist. “Why would you want your son to be punished by a man who hurts you, Mrs. Klatt?” Then he let go of me but continued to stare into my eyes. “Just a thought, but after hearing what you went through a few weeks past, don’t you think your son deserves a break?  I believe he learned his lesson today. I think you just need to remind him of that and let it go, Mrs. Klatt.”

I knew he was probably right, but I wouldn’t admit that to him. He was so smug as he stood there mimicking me.

I bit down on my bottom lip to stop it from trembling. Then I drew a quick breath of air into my lungs and let it out slowly before I answered him. “Thank you for your help and the advice. I will see you again. Good day, Mr. Cooper.”

“Yes, you will. Good day, Elizabeth.”

I turned away from him but heard his laughter follow me as I hurried up the stairs and into the building. Why did he get under my skin so quickly?  I knew why, but I couldn’t afford to think about it. I must avoid Mr. Cooper in the future, But I knew after seeing his kind eyes again it would be impossible. I leaned against the closed door and smiled. He was a handsome devil, and if I didn’t mind my P’s and q’s, I’d get myself in trouble, and that was something I just couldn’t afford.

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